A number of the most buzz-worthy 2017 films were directed by exceptional women. Dee Rees made the memorable period drama Mudbound, Patty Jenkins finally gave fans a female superhero film with Wonder Woman, and Greta Gerwig made her solo directorial debut with the award-winning Lady Bird. That's just to name a few standouts. As much as women directors achieved in the recent year, there is still work to be done in the industry.
As shared by The Hollywood Reporter, only eight women directed a top 100 film, based on domestic box office success. The number is actually a progression based on previous years. The study of inclusion among directors was published by the University of Southern California and provided evidence of the ongoing inequalities that women and minorities face with acquiring director roles. One positive aspect shows that the numbers of inclusion are on the upswing but there are certainly ways to help.
Supporting women directors by viewing their work is the most obvious step as success is still greatly based on box office numbers. There are a ton of movies to look forward to in 2018 and several of the most-anticipated are directed by women. Here are a list of upcoming films with women at the helm that will be worth checking out:
1. A Wrinkle in Time
Director: Ava DuVernay
Release Date: March 9, 2018
DuVernay is directing one of the most anticipated films of the year, Disney's live-action adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 novel A Wrinkle in Time. The screenplay is written by Jennifer Lee and includes a star-studded cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mabatha-Raw, and Chris Pine. The story follows a young girl who teams up with her brother, a classmate, and three mystical beings to travel across the universe in hopes of rescuing her father from some sort of evil.
Director: Kay Cannon
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Cannon makes her directorial debut with this comedy, which follows her work co-writing the Pitch Perfect trilogy and working on hit shows such as 30 Rock and New Girl. Previously going by the title The Pact, the film follows a group of parents who go on a mission to stop their daughters after finding that they all vowed to lose their virginity on prom night. The comedy stars Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, and Kathryn Newton.
3. I Feel Pretty
Director: Abby Kohn
Release Date: June 29, 2018
The comedy is co-directed and co-written by Kohn and writing partner Marc Silverstein. The pair are best known for writing rom-coms such as Never Been Kissed, How to Be Single, and Valentine's Day. Amy Schumer stars as the main character who suffers from her fair share of insecurities until she wakes up from a head injury with a newfound sense of confidence.
4. The Spy Who Dumped Me
Director: Susanna Fogel
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Along with directing this film, Fogel co-wrote the upcoming action comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. The pair portray best friends who find themselves thrown into the world of espionage after an ex-boyfriend reveals himself as a spy. The film also features Sam Heughan, Justin Theroux, and Gillian Anderson.
5. The Darkest Minds
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Release Date: September 14, 2018
Nelson has stepped up to the challenge of adapting the young adult book series from author Alexandra Bracken to the big screen. The sci-fi tells the tale of Ruby Daly, a teenager who escapes a government rehabilitation camp after her parents confine her there for having a mysterious disease. Amandla Stenberg plays Ruby while the rest of the cast includes Harris Dickinson, Mandy Moore, and Gwendoline Christie.
6. Can You Forgive Me?
Director: Marielle Heller
Release Date: October 19, 2018
Heller is an actress-turned-director best known for her work on Transparent and The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Her work behind the camera will once again be seen via this biographical comedy-drama based on Lee Israel’s novel. Melissa McCarthy plays Lee Israel, and the film depicts her struggle to make a living by writing profiles on well-known women.
7. Mary Queen of Scots
Director: Josie Rourke
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Rourke is at the helm for the upcoming adaptation of John Guy’s biography My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots. Despite the November release date, the film is already receiving buzz for its impressive cast including Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, David Tenant, and Guy Pearce. Ronan and Robbie will portray the two rival queens as they navigate the rules of power and the betrayal that often comes with the throne.
This list may seem short but fear not, these are not the only films directed by women this year. There are a number of other movies that do not have clear release dates but still have the chance to premiere sometime during 2018. One could only hope that this list and future lists continue to grow with more inclusion and diversity in the directors chair.
(Credit: The Hollywood Reporter)